Sobriety & Recovery | Apples & Oranges
It's true. Comparing sobriety to recovery is like comparing apples to oranges. Ask anyone that's active in recovery, and they'll likely have the same sentiment. Let's break this down together, because when I first considered sobriety, I used the 2 terms interchangeably. Apples are a fruit and oranges are a fruit, but each of them are different, and the same is true for being sober & being in recovery. "But how can that be, Lindsay...??"
Well, let's look at what it means to be recovered. In the program of AA, it's taught that what we are recovered from is a hopeless state of body & mind. We achieve this state by not only putting down the bottle, but by addressing the root issues that are the catalysts for our drinking; a malady of the mind and spirit. The 12 steps are designed to not only keep us sober, but it's truly a program for living. The program lays out in a most genius way how to self reflect, find a higher-power, rely upon the higher power for direction, get out of self & self-will, disarm the ego, understand your defects of character, make amends to those harmed by our drinking, take inventory daily and make right our wrongs immediately, and finally serve others. When I say a program for living, I mean this program literally allows you to be the best version of yourself if you do the work that is suggested. If there ever was a manual for life, it would be the AA 12 Step Program!
On the flip side of this is being sober. I have been both sober & I have found recovery. One can be sober without actually working a program to recover. You see, I have heard time and time again by one of my favorite people in my home-group, Michael that "you can take the alcohol away from the alcoholic, but you've still got the "ic".
Alcohol & drug use are but a symptom of larger underlying issue(s). Most people that have substance abuse disorders had turned to alcohol & drugs as coping mechanisms. Most of us were ill-equipped when we endured these traumas to cope with them, and so these traumas went untreated... that or we just didn't have the means to take care of ourselves at the time the way we needed to. Alcohol & drugs are a quick fix, and before you know it... you've formed a habit that then becomes an addiction. Some of us might have a genetic predisposition to addict, combine that with some un-treated trauma and you've got the perfect storm.
So to be sober is really to not be consuming alcohol or using drugs. To be in recovery means you're sober AND working a program of recovery. Now, there's those of you that are sober because you don't want to live a life that's blurred by alcohol or substances. You're consciously choosing to not consume these substances for one reason or another that has nothing to do with being an actual alcoholic or drug addict. It's a lifestyle choice that I think is fantastic! The world needs more people to be "awake" and consciously living their lives. If this is you, then I say, "Heck Yeah!"
There's a new movement called "sober-curious" wherein you choose to not consume alcohol or use legal drugs for a designated period of time. There's even groups that have formed that you can go to for support without having the "stigma" of attending AA or NA. I think it's very cool to experiment with how sobriety enhances your life. There's so many bonus side effects of being sober. You're hydrated, well rested, balanced, energized, motivated, clear minded... I mean why would you revert back?
Sobriety, recovery, sober-curious; whatever floats your boat and doesn't sink mine.. I say go for it. I think as more and more people come out and are openly living in a positive way, the world will glow a bit more. Keep shining, lovely!